Tandoori chicken masala

Tandoori chicken masala

Room in my larder

Like everyone else I know, I love a good curry from the local Indian when I’ve cooked enough for one day but if I’m not all cooked out I love to make my own. I always cook it at least a day before I intend to have it for dinner to allow the flavours to infuse. The best way to make a good sauce is to cook it low and slow so if you have a slow cooker bonus!
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My favourite curry is a chicken or butternut squash tikka tandoori masala, here’s my version. .

useful info

Course: Lunch, Dinner or Supper

Oven temp: n/a

Marinating time: 12 hours

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3 – 4 hours 

Serves 6



Marinating bowl

Roasting tin

Heavy based saucepan (large)

Heavy chopping board

Cooks knifeingredients – marinating

1 kilo of chicken thigh

3 tbsp of tandoori spice mix

3 tbsp of mint sauce

3 tbsp of Greek yoghurt

50ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil

5g of sea salt

1 lemon

method – marinating

Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat and crap and check for little splinter bones.

Cut each thigh into 4 or 6 depending on the size.

Coat the chicken with the tandoori spice mix, lemon juice and rapeseed oil and sit for 30 minutes.

Now add the yoghurt and marinate over night.

The next day whilst the gravy is slowly simmering away cook the chicken thighs for 30 minutes on 180oC ready to add to the gravy later on.

ingredients – gravy

100ml of cold pressed rapeseed oil ( I use Bennet and Dunns)

4 onions peeled and small diced

8 garlic cloves peeled and grated

40g of peeled and grated / minced ginger

3 red peppers ( capsicum) slice into 1cm squares

800g of chopped tomatoes

100g of tomato paste

500ml water

1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp of black mustard seeds

2 tbsp of coriander seeds

2 tsp of cumin seeds

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of ground cardamom

1 scotch bonnet de-seeded and finely diced

2 tsp of dried chilli flakes

1 bunch of fresh coriander – use stalks for gravy and leaves to garnish at the end.

1 tbsp of ground madras curry powder

1 tbsp of turmeric

1 tbsp of smoked paprika

100g of Greek Yoghurt

1 lime

method – gravy

Heat your pan on a medium heat and add spice seeds only – do not add the ground powders yet.

Allow the seeds to toast in the pan for 30 seconds ensuring they do not burn.

Now add the oil and onions and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until soft.

Add the diced peppers and scotch bonnet for 5 minutes then add the ginger and garlic and all the other dry powder spices.

Immediately stir in the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes with the water.

Stirring occasionally allow this to simmer for 3 hours. If it starts to thicken too much just add little more water.

If you have a slow cooker put the sauce in it and go to the pub.

Once ready to eat add in the roasted chicken thighs with the lime juice and cook for a further 30 minutes.

To finish the sauce add the yoghurt, mix in well and chopped coriander leaves. Done.

serving suggestion

Serve with fragrant rice, homemade flat breads and onion bhaji with mint yoghurt. I will be posting my recipes for these soon.

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Sour dough crumpets with stilton butter, honey and walnuts.

Sour dough crumpets with stilton butter, honey and walnuts.

Room in my larder

starter or lunch
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Sour dough crumpets with stilton butter, walnuts and honey.

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try this for brunch or lunch soon, if you don’t want to make the crumpets just buy some to save you time.  

useful info

Course: any time of day 

Oven temp: 190˚c

Preparation time: 1 week but once you have your sour dough starter it’s ready to use everyday if you keep feeding it. Just add equal amounts of bread flour and water each day or keep in the fridge and feed once a week.

Cooking time: 10 minutes 

Makes 6



• White and Rye sour dough starter
• Liquids from churning butter
• Rye flour
• White bread flour
• Maldon sea salt
• Baking soda
• 3 tsp of runny honey
• 300g of stilton
• 300ml double cream
• Walnuts


• Scales
• Measuring jugs
• Mixing bowl
• Heavy based wide frying pan (a small pan will do, just means longer to cook the batch)
• 2 x 1 litre glass kilner jar
• Kitchen aid food mixer or similar
• Nutcrackers
• Baking tray
• Crumpet rings or just free-style in the pan


  • To make the crumpet batter pour in 200g of the sour dough starter and whisk in 1/4 tsp of baking powder, .1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of honey.
  • Heat the pan and toast the walnuts for a few minutes on medium heat then set aside for later. 
  • Brush the crumpet rings with oil and place on the now hot pan.
  • Pour the batter half the way up the side of the ring and cook on medium heat until the top looks a bit dull but holes have started appearing.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside while you finish the batch off. You can reheat and toast the tops under the grill when ready to eat. 
  • During the week while you are waiting on your sour dough starter you can make the stilton butter. 
  • Whisk the cream with the balloon whisk attachment until it becomes thick. Swap the whisk for the K beater and continue beating the cream, do it on low speed so when the liquid separates from the solids it doesn’t spray the kitchen.
  • Take the solid lump out of the bowl and squeeze it between your hands over the bowl to catch the liquid – keep the liquid in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Put the butter back in the bowl with the stilton and mix on slow speed until well combined. 
  • When ready for action brush the top of the crumpets with the buttermilk leftover from churning butter and toast the crumpets under the grill or pan fry dull brushed side down to toast and reheat.
  • Spread crumpets with the stilton butter, drizzle with honey and crush some walnuts over the top.


serving suggestion

Eat these with a nice red wine.  



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French baguette

French baguette

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starter or lunch
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I’m not a baker by trade or even had any formal training on baking but just as with cooking, I’m curious so I’m teaching myself. I usually read up about 5 different recipes for the same item and then try the first one that makes sense. It usually turns out to be the right choice trusting my instinct. A lot of recipes that you will find online or in books will set you up for failure from the beginning because they are either overly complicated by the cook who writes them or they just tend to miss vital information. In my recipes I am developing how I write them to try and put my head in the head of an novice and include all the crucial info to help the learner understand what they have to do what the recipe asks of them for success.  

useful info

Course: any time of day 

Oven temp: 220˚c

Preparation time: 1hr 45mins

Cooking time: 22 minutes

Makes 4



500g of T65 French bread flour or a strong white bread flour

10g of Maldon sea salt

10g of fast action dried yeast

370ml of tepid water


Food mixer with dough hook attachment

Thick cloth or couche

Flour dredger or sieve

Dough scraper

Dough cutter

Baking stone or strong metal baking tray

Parchment paper


Put all of the ingredients into the bowl of your mixer and turn on slow to combine everything together. Turn the speed up to medium for 8 minutes and watch how the dough comes together and turns glossy.

Turn the dough out of the mixing bowl and scrape every last bit out. Clean and dry the bowl then brush with a little oil to coat and put the dough back into bowl.

Leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size and then carefully turn out onto your work surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces weighing them on your scales to be certain.

You need to be handling the dough gently otherwise you will knock too much air out.

Carefully shape the dough (check YouTube)

Roll each piece with th peplums of your hands tapering off towards the ends. Place in the flour dredged couch or thick tea towel and allow to rise again covered with a cloth or plastic bag for an hour. Whilst waiting pre heat your oven to 220oC and place a metal baking tray in the bottom of the oven.

Once you are ready to bake carefully transfer the baguettes from the linen to a parchment lined baking tray. and make 4 slices across the tops.

Place in oven and for some boiling water into the tray that is sat on the bottom of the oven. The steam will help to create a really nice crust.

Bake for about 20 minutes and once ready allow to cool for a while before getting the cheese out!

serving suggestion

Best eat these baguettes with salami or cheese or ham or beef or whatever takes your fancy. 



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Chicken Tikka Scotch Egg

Chicken Tikka Scotch Egg

Room in my larder

starter or lunch
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Everyone at some point during their lives should try this chicken tikka scotch egg with cucumber salad and curried mayonnaise. 

useful info

Course: Starter or Lunch 

Oven temp: 180˚c

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 6



6 blue shell eggs 

1 normal egg whisked 

480g of chicken thigh

3 tbsp of tandoori spice blend may contain mustard 

1 small bunch of fresh coriander

1 tbsp of mint sauce

1 tbsp of yoghurt contains milk

8 pre cooked popadoms 

1 tsp of maldon sea salt

1 cucumber 

A handful of pea shoots, mint leaves and mustard cress

Good quality mayonnaise or homemade will contain eggs 

1 tbsp of madras curry powder may contain mustard 




Magimix food processor with blade 

Deep fat fryer 

4 mixing bowls 

A decent potato peeler 

Measuring spoons 



  • Place the popadoms into the food processor and blitz until they resemble breadcrumbs. 
  • Boil the eggs for 6 minutes then take out of the water and place straight into cold water. Once cooled down carefully peel the eggs they will be very soft and easy to break as the middle should still be very runny. 
  • Check the chicken thighs for any little bones or sinew, remove and then place into food processor with coriander, mint sauce, yoghurt and tandoori spice blend. Blitz until it resembles sausage meat. 
  • Take a lump of the chicken and spread it out in your hand, place the egg in the middle and carefully wrap around the egg pressing gently together to make a seal. Now roll around in the whisked egg and then into the crushed popadoms making sure to evenly coat the eggs. Once you have them all coated you can start frying them. You want to fry them for a few minutes only to crisp up the coating. 
  • Place the eggs on a baking tray and cook for 16 minutes. If you have a temperature probe push it in carefully until you feel it stop at the egg. If it reads 75˚C you’re good to go. 
  • While the eggs are roasting cut the cucumber in half and peel until you almost reach the middle then turn and peel again until you reach the middle. You should have plenty of fine cucumber strips. 
  • Put the mayo in a bowl and add the madras curry powder. Stir well to combine. 
  • To serve lay the cucumber strips out on your plate, garnish one side with the small salad leaves, spoon a blob of mayo on to the cucumber and place the egg on top. You can slice a little off the bottom of the scotch egg to help it stand up. 

serving suggestion

Serve as a starter as it is or add a green salad and some takefood piccalilli madras for a more substantial lunch. 



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Ducky eggs and grown up salmon soldiers

Ducky eggs and grown up salmon soldiers

Room in my larder

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Here’s something simple for brunch. It’s quick to prepare and super tasty.

useful info

Course: Brunch

Oven temp: 200˚c

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes

Serves 6


12 duck eggs at room temperature 

24 asparagus spears trimmed 

12 slices of smoked salmon  

12 large basil leaves  

Cracked black pepper 




Baking tray

Chopping board and sharp knife 

Egg cups and spoons

Piece of parchment paper to fit the baking tray




Put a deep pan of water on to boil and set the oven to 200˚c

Slice the smoked salmon slices into 2 halves and lay out on the parchment on the baking tray.

Break the asparagus spears near the base where they break naturally and then bunch together to chop all in one go to the same size.

Lay a piece of basil out on each half slice of salmon and then roll spear up in it.

Carefully place the eggs in the boiling water and set the timer to 7 minutes.

When there is just 2 minutes left on the timer place the asparagus into the oven and turn the oven off.

When the 2 minutes are up serve immediately with crusty bread and butter and a pot of earl grey tea.

serving suggestion

Serve with crusty bread and butter and a pot of earl grey tea. 

To bulk it out you can add some avocado and spinach leaves.

One thing definitely worth is trying is next time you go into Ikea go to the small food shop before you leave and buy a small jar of seaweed caviar. Spoon some of the seaweed caviar onto your soft runny yolk instead of sea salt.



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Char-grilled lamb chops

Char-grilled lamb chops

Room in my larder

A collection of my ideas, elements and recipes for you to try at home.
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Char-grilled lamb chops with roasted garlic and asparagus.

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recipe pages – char-grilled lamb chops 

Try this fairly simple lunch for Easter this year. It’s lightly and fresh tasting and will leave plenty of room for dessert.



1k of trimmed rack of lamb 

900g of new potatoes 

24 asparagus spears trimmed

A small handful of mint leaves

6g fresh rosemary needles 

2 garlic bulbs sliced down the middle 

150ml of rapeseed oil 

1 jar of ‘takefood preserves’ wild garlic and pumpkin seed pesto 

Maldon sea salt 

Black pepper 




Ribbed skillet pan or char-grill

Chopping board and sharp knife 


Mixing bowl 

2 baking trays 


useful info

Course: Easter lunch
Oven temp: 180˚c
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


Slice the lamb into chops and brush with rapeseed oil then season with salt and pepper.

Bend the asparagus spears at the ends where they will naturally break, discard the ends and brush the spears with rapeseed oil.

Put the potatoes on to steam, depending on their size they should take about 20 minutes (maybe longer – check with a skewer)

Put the skillet on the hob on high heat and allow to get really hot. (you may want to open the window)

Brush a little oil on the baking tray and slice the garlic bulbs down the middle then push around in the oil to coat.

Bake the garlic in the oven for about 12 – 15 minutes or until soft and lightly browned.

When the potatoes are completely soft throughout remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Char-grill the asparagus for about 30 seconds turning over to get an even charring then remove to the second baking tray.

Place the chops down on to the skillet and press down gently, grill for 2 minutes on each side and then place on the second baking tray with the asparagus and repeat until all the lamb is charred.

Sprinkle over the rosemary needles and place in the oven for one more minute. (maybe longer if you prefer the lamb less pink but watch you don’t over cook the asparagus)

Serve the chops and asparagus on a board with mint leaves and garlic bulbs.

Toss the cooled potatoes in the wild garlic and pumpkin seed pesto and serve to the table in a bowl.

Let everyone help themselves and pop open a bottle of crisp white wine such as Sancerre.

You can pop the garlic cloves out of their paper skins and spread on some sour dough bread if you have a loaf or just add to your plate as a condiment.

If you like a gravy with your lamb simply reduce some white wine and add chicken stock with any remaining meat juices and reduce then whisk in cold unsalted butter. Reduce until you have the thickness you desire.

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